Let us all write a letter to recently elected members of the Federal Parliament. Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children suggest something like this:
- “Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children would like to congratulate you on being elected to the Australian Parliament.
We would like to tell you a little about us. Ours is a grass roots movement that has grown from tiny beginnings in Melbourne under two years ago, to more than 2,000 fully signed up members, with groups in every federal electorate in Victoria. We are enthusiastically supported by many friends and relations of grandmothers (FROGS) and by an increasing membership in New South Wales, Tasmania, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.
The Grandmothers continue to follow closely the political process, and in March 2016 over 300 of us travelled in convoy to Canberra to meet with both members and senators to put our case directly for the release of children and families in detention. Over the subsequent months we have been particularly encouraged to learn that children have been released from mainland detention.
We are now strongly urging those in power to turn their attention to those suffering on Nauru, including children and their families and unaccompanied minors. We urge that they be relocated with compassion into the community on mainland Australia. We are particularly concerned that those 267 refugee children and families released into the Australian community should be supported in Australia and not returned to Nauru.
We understand the asylum seeking issue is complex, and we urge all members of Parliament to work together to bring about bipartisan policies that result in prompt, just, and compassionate processing of asylum seekers and refugees in our region under the auspices of the UNHCR – thus resulting in their humane movement to safe havens.
This orderly and responsible process would help reclaim Australia’s reputation in the eyes of the world, and be a deterrent to people smugglers.
We wish you every success in your upcoming work in the Parliament, and we ask for your support in the campaign against detention of refugee children and their families.”